Bonjour, Ciao, and Konnichiwa Language Lovers,
It’s Thanksgiving weekend, but for many it’s not so much about giving thanks as it is about trying to find the best deals possible at the start of the holiday season…. For many retailers it’s all about those big sales days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and offering deals so they make as many sales as possible.
The language learning niche is no different. All the providers are having sales, making deals, and offering all sorts of low prices and added value. Which is great for those who are ready to take the plunge into a whole new world of language and culture, and already have an idea about the learning system they want.
Some things don’t change though, they just get cheaper…
Regardless of how well priced a learning system is, if it doesn’t suit your learning style, if it isn’t comprehensive, then it’s not money well spent.
So lets have a look at what makes a good online learning system.
Now, you may say that we’re biased, and we are to an extent. We certainly believe that what we offer is the best of the best. But I’m not interested in comparing companies and what they have to offer, I want to look at what works for language learners just like you.
There’s long been a basic philosophical disagreement about whether immersion or other methods work best. The argument goes something like this:
As children we learn to speak our native language by being immersed in it. There is no prompting, there are no explanations, you learn by trial and error, and by copying others.
And that’s true, as far as it goes.
By extension that means the best way to pick up a second language is to live, eat, sleep, and breathe it. Which is all very well if you have the money and the time to go live somewhere that speaks the language. Even then, I’ve heard that it’s a very hard row to hoe, full of stress, and loneliness.
And you can’t really do true immersion in your own, English speaking community.
Another school of thought is that the best way to learn is to take lessons and classes that give you step by step instructions about how to speak a language. You know, learning by rote, like we did with the times tables at school…
The problem with that approach is the lack of real native language speakers giving you feedback. The exact thing that makes immersion work well.
So, some sort of hybrid is in order, a way to learn from native speakers, and get good feedback, without having to break the bank traveling, or get all lonely and depressed. You need to be able to practice effectively and get clear accurate explanations about how the language works. You need to be able to test yourself to find out where you’re at, and see progress as you get better.
So this Thanksgiving, when the big sales are on, and everyone’s promising the moon, take a step back, think about exactly how you learn best, what you need to get the job done, and select a system that gives it to you.
Because the best spend of your money is on the one that works, not necessarily the cheapest one.
The Rocket Languages Team.
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